Food Safety Issues/Chicken


I had a chicken wrap for lunch but I didn't finish it.  I left it in my cold car from 11:30 to 3:30. After I got off work I finished eating  it. Am I at risk of a serious illness?  If so what do I need to do.

Hi Kendralyn,

The good news is that your chances for illness are fairly low.  Now I didn't say non-existent -- just that your odds are definitely in your favor that nothing will happen to you.

Even restaurants are allowed to leave food that would normally need temperature control (either hot or cold) to stay safe to consume, such as chicken, to stay within the Danger Zone -- 41 to 135 degrees F -- up to 4 hours before the food would have to be pitched.  Since you were within this time frame and you said your car was cold, your chances for any food borne illness bacteria to grow to a level to make you ill is pretty remote.


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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